Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Great British Sewing Bee is back...

And it is a challenge to watch it on this side of the pond.  Links disappear quickly.

But it is ever so charming and astonishing that the folks actually manage to pull off the challenges in the allotted time...more or less, anyway.

It was 70's week  this week. Flared legs, punk deconstruction and flowing maxi dresses.  Somehow the whole punk thing never made it to rural Indiana; I had to look it up to verify that it really was a thing in the 70's....I was thinking it was more of an 80's thing (maybe I'm thinking of grunge?).

Needless to say, I would have failed that horribly.

But, somewhere (maybe Instagram?) I saw a challenge to post a photo of yourself from the 1970's in honor of 70's week...with bonus points if you're wearing a home sewn garment.

So, here's one of the earliest pics of me in one of my own creations:

Thats a 'First Day of School' pic... me heading into 7th grade, which would have been 1971.  Barely in the 70's, to be sure.  I really liked that dress...but it was made of dreadfully cheap fabric which faded almost immediately, not to mention I was 12, which was the age of growth spurts, so it only actually fit for about six weeks. I think I wore it only two or three times. And yes, I felt very clever for taking a short cut with the hem and machine stitching it down, then covering it over w/ rick rack so the line of stitching really didn't show.

All things considered, 7th grade was one of the most difficult years of my entire school career.  Looking at the white socks and the haircut...maybe that's no surprise, lol.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Finally Wore it....

I squelched my trepidation and actually wore the hummingbird scarf today.

Along with the rest of the 'January' outfit.

And took lame pics in the church bathroom and the dusty home mirror.

But it's enough to get the idea, I think.

February's dress is getting close.  I might not finish it until the weekend but I am making progress.

Although, after wearing the blue cardi today, with its slender sleeves, I don't think it's going to work as a topper for the dress.  Even though I trimmed the dress sleeve pattern down, I think they are still gonna be too bulky to fit well under the jacket.

But it should still be useful.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Moving through 'Sewing Block'...

I pondered on the question all day...what fabrication should I use for the dress?

I thought about what my wardrobe needs; I thought about what the February selections that I am emulating were on Janice's blog.

I need a nice black dress.  Not a fancy black dress, but a good utility dress that can be fancied up or down by accessories.

And, according to the February choices on the Vivienne Files, I should use the main neutral for the February dress.

Then I hit on an idea that made it work...I could shorten the sleeves on my shift pattern, so they are elbow-length...on trend and a little more wear-under-a-jacket friendly than the original bracelet-length belled sleeves; I could use on-seam pockets instead of patch pockets and I could use facings instead of a banded neckline.  All of those elements would inch the potential dressiness of the dress up a wee bit.

And I could use my nice Telio Ponte...several notches above the original black double knit in niceness.

That was that I needed.

I came home and cut it all out this evening...it's ready to stitch up.

I'm really pleased with the concept; now, we'll see if the fitting tweaks I did are enough to get rid of the underarm sloppiness on the first dress.  Even if it's not gone...it should be considerably better.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Second guessing February

With the tweaks made to the dress pattern and the gray sophia knit laid out on the table ready to cut, I suddenly had second thoughts.

I went back and reviewed Janice's posts and I think I need to maybe shift my, um shift.

Looking at the February picks again, she has restated the color choices from January.  In 4 of the 6 wardrobes, she still only has 3 colors total after adding February's picks.  The other two have added just one more for a total of 4 colors.

If I went with my gray and red plan for February, I would have 5 colors.  The only thing the February colors would have in common with the January wardrobe is that they are in the humming bird scarf.

So I waffled.  And, while the gray is still laid out on the table, I think I'm going to switch my color scheme to stay a little more...cohesive...here in the beginning.  I will likely add the gray and red later, but I think for now I need to stick w/ white, blue and black in some combo.

I have enough of the blue to make a dress.  And I have more of the black Telio ponte I used for the pants last month as well...I could make a dress from that.  Actually, when I bought that much fabric last year I was thinking about a black dress...

And I have an existing black/white/silver tweed scarf that would be fine...and my black ballet flats and a black bag and silver earrings and I'm good for January.

I'm giving myself till tomorrow to make up my mind.  Cause tomorrow I have to cut it out...whatever it turns out to be, lol.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

February Progress

I have gotten my 'maybe kinda sorta wearable' muslin done to the hem for the dress I want to do...and I think it's a go.  I need to petite the armhole, but other than that, it's not half bad, even in the cheap yucky knit that I used for the first go.

Just for grins, here's the inspiration dress...a no longer available offering from J.Jill.



Here's the tech drawing, from Burdastyle 09/2012, #107 -
It's not *quite* the same...we have bell sleeves instead of straight, and the neckline is more of a boat than a scoop, if you follow me there. But it's got a similar vibe.

I've omitted the back zip...there's  no need for it in a knit...and I made a neckband instead of the binding (which, according to Burda, should be leather.  Um...pass).  I could probably shorten the band a little or perhaps scoop the front neck just a hair.as the band wants to stand up slightly,..but that gives it a kinda retro vibe, which I sort of like.  The sleeve treatment is the weirdest thing I've ever seen.  The shoulder seams are left to last, and the sleeve cap has a dart in it, that is cut open a bit at the top.  The sleeves are seamed, hemmed then inserted, from shoulder seam/dart leg around to shoulder seam/dart leg, then the shoulder seam and the dart are stitched in one go.

Of course, that means it's pretty much impossible to try the dress on for fit before the very end, but, well, whacha gonna do?

If I stand so that the droopy underarms are noticeable, the dress looks pretty sloppy.  But if I keep my arms down...it's passable, it's passable.  And solid black knit is pretty forgiving.  The darts end in about the right spot, so I'm just going to petite the armscye instead of folding out length in the upper chest also.

Monday is a holiday; I'm thinking I will get the hem in this and then make my armseye/sleevcap alteration and cut it out of the gray Sophia knit.  And sew it up on Monday.

At least, that's the plan.

I've ordered and returned about 6 pairs of shoes from Zappo's...my frog feet are just not adjusting well to a basic pump; nothing fits a wide forefoot.  I have one pair that I haven't sent back...yet...they're not great but I could probably stand them for a couple of hours.  I'm exhausting all possibilities before I commit to them, though.  At least they're Hush Puppies so they're cheap, lol.  The little phone wallet crossbody bag arrived in the mail today, and the earrings (So cute!  They're paisley shaped but they remind me of birds' wings, lol) are also here.  So I just need to get on the dress and the scarf.

I've got 12 days...lol.

Friday, February 01, 2019

February Assignment - 12 months, 12 outfits

Janice's February picks are up.

And, wow, options here.

Basically, it is...a dress in the neutral, with a solid accent scarf and handbag in the same color, earrings and pumps/slingbacks...ie, basic dressy shoes.

Except when it isn't.

One outfit has a jumpsuit (that looks like a lace top over full pants to me, but it is a jumpsuit), and a cardigan instead of a scarf, and the bag matched the earrings.  At least two wardrobes used an accent color (navy in one, black in the other) for the dress.  One of the scarves was a ruana. One pair of dressy shoes was ballet flats.

So there is LOTS of flexibility, even within the posted wardrobes.

Which means, well, I can do whatever I want, right? LOL.

I'm not into handbags; I have back-pack style purses that I carry for all but the most formal events.  I have brown, black and gray, so I'm pretty well covered if I want to bother to change bags, lol.  BUT...I might possibly use a colorful wallet with a cross-body strap, for those events when I just need to carry a minimal amount of  stuff.  Something I could throw into the backpack for the day, but pull out by itself if we're just running out for lunch or something.  Hm....

I've already been pondering the dress, because I expected that to be the choice.  I kinda picked out a pattern for a dressy sheath from my stash of Burda pattern mags, and I was also mulling over a knit dress similar to one from J. Jill that  I've Pinned to my Sewspiration board ...basically a knee-length gray ponte knit t-shirt w/ long sleeves and square patch pockets.  I don't have a pattern for that exactly, but how hard would it be to morph from, say, Loes Hinse's Cowl Top?   But this morning, as I was getting up and around,  I suddenly thought a denim blue shirtdress might be a good choice, as I could also use that as a duster.  Especially since I'm leaning to denim blue as one of the SWAP -qualifying neutrals.  I'm sure I've got a suitable button-up dress pattern somewhere....

So, looking over the outfits,  there really isn't an equivalent to the sheath pattern I was considering (breathes a sigh of relief at not having to fit that pattern...yet, anyway....)  But there are a couple of t-shirt based knit dresses and a shirt dress.

So.  Decisions, decisions.

I think I'm going to use red as my accent for this month; it's in the choir wardrobe for the month and, well, I like red.  And it will work whether I make a black dress, a gray dress, or a blue denim dress.

I have  a deep red silk scarf that matches a patch in the very center of the red on the hummingbird's throats in the scarf, but it's definitely not the predominant red in the scarf. I might let that be my back up scarf if I can't find another. I also have some red shoes, but they are not terribly dressy. 

I'mma gonna do some online perusing of sales...there are some good ones now...and see what I can find whilst I ponder the dress question, which is, really, what would I wear the most?